Compelling Issues

The Gen-Z Women’s Guide To Last Night’s Democratic Debate

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It’s presidential debate season, ya’ll. Last night, the first in a series of debates amongst the Democratic candidates for president took place. 10 candidates took the stage in Miami and answered a series of questions on topics that ranged from healthcare to immigration and climate change. We have all the details that you need to know — from the best policy proposals to the best memes and an explanation of like, who all those white men were.

The What: Consider last night’s debate the first in a two-part episode. The 10 candidates who debated last night will be followed up by another 10 tonight. If that already sounds exhausting just wait, there will be 12 debates during the entire primary season (12!!!)

The Who: Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA), Senator Cory Booker (NJ), Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN), former Congressman Beto o’Rourke (TX), Obama’s former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI), New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Congressman Tim Ryan (OH), and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper all debated last night.

We’re exhausted just making that list. If you’re completely overwhelmed, please feel free to just focus on these five: Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Beto o’Rourke, and Julián Castro!

Why Do We Care?: These debates are the first chance many candidates will get to make their case to a national audience. It’s a good way for you to get a feel for who’s style and tone you like best. Because these debates are so crowded, the best way to get to know a candidate’s policy proposals is still to check out their website.

Now onto the fun part … judging people.

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The CW


Elizabeth Warren came in hot when the moderators asked the candidates who supported a single-payer healthcare deal.

See what we mean? Spot the difference.

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Warner Brothers

Amy Klobuchar set herself apart from the pack by expressing concerns about single-payer and it’s effectiveness. Psst, if you don’t know: Single-payer healthcare is a plan that would mean everyone in the country receives health insurance from the government. It’s how healthcare works in countries like Britain, Canada, and Australia. The US already has a version of this service in the form of Medicare (the old-people health insurance plan). Advocates of this plan (including Bernie Sanders) want to extend those benefits to everyone.

Climate Change

So we might have known nothing about Governor Jay Inslee before last night, but he definitely blew us away by stating that climate change was the issue at the top of his priority list and would be the thing he tackled right away if he was elected. Since the earth is melting and we’re all gonna die, we’re glad something thinks it’s the most pressing issue!

He also did this! And it was so cute!

When asked what the biggest “geopolitical threat” to the USA was, Beto, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Julián Castro all said climate change. We stan!

Women’s Rights

When our climate change bae Jay Inslee started talking about how he was “only candidate here who had passed a law protecting a woman’s right of reproductive health and health insurance.” Amy jumped in to shut. that. down. She decisively pointed out that “There are three women up here who have fought pretty hard for a woman’s right to choose.” Yesss, Amy! Yess record number of female candidates running for president.

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Elizabeth Warren and Julián Castro also jumped out for their forceful defenses of women’s reproductive rights. Julián Castro sure won us over when he pointed out that reproductive right’s isn’t just a women’s issue, but also one that impacts trans men as well.

Gun Violence

Cory Booker was the night’s stand out on the gun control debate. He said that he supported passing legislation requiring people to have licenses for firearms. He also spoke forcefully about criminal justice reform and gun violence in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey.

Meme of the Night

When Beto answered his first question in Spanish, Cory Booker gave him a massive side eye that will probably live on as a meme for years to come.

That’s exactly what our faces looked like when we realized that the election is still over a year away.